The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

The Dark Ages

Agincourt 1415

During this campaign, history records one of the greatest victories for England under the leadership of Henry V, the battle of Agincourt (1415). This battle was to inspire many genrations of English and Welsh soldiers in battle from then.
The army of Henry marched toward Calais after defeating the French forces at Harfleur, with the intent of returning to England, the French however had gathered an enormous army to block his way. 


A Welsh man-at-arms, David Gambe, on being questioned by King Henry as to the size of the French army, said:

“There are enough to kill, enough to capture and enough to run away.”

The French were over confident because of the overwhelming odds in their favour. Henrys army were mainly made up of English and Welsh Longbow men, the army had been decimated by a dysentery outbreak at Harfleur. The French were also aware of this, which was to the English armies’ advantage, as this arrogance the French Aristocracy displayed gave them supreme confidence of a certain victory over Henry's "rag tag force".


The result of this battle is touted as the most famous of all battles fought by the English.
During this battle, there were over twenty barber surgeons on the battlefield. The principle surgeon was Thomas Morestede he was the Kings Surgeon and was surgeon to his father and Henry VI. There was also a physician by the name of Nicolas Colnet who also attended closely to the King.
111


Because surgeons were held in as much esteem as a tailor at the time, they had very little equipment and hardly any means of transporting their meagre supplies. 
They were however deemed important enough for the King to pay their salary a quarter in advance.
111
Colnet also wrote several books one being ‘Leech Book’, that contains the sort of medical recipes he used at Agincourt. He was given the Prebendal Manor in 1417, probably in return for his services. 112
It also seems that he could have been partly responsible for the death of Henry V as he died of some say dysentery but others of surgical complications. It is probable that he was then in attendance on him at Vincennes, A.D. 1422. 113

Quote 45


"He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say, 'Tomorrow is Saint Crispin:' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say, 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day." 114

 

 

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